Is Crate Training a Puppy Cruel or Cool?

So, the other day my fiance came home from training one of her students and she told me that her student’s daughter called her a bad dog mom because she CRATES our dogs! 

We had to share this with you

If you are not sure if crating your dog or puppy is a bad thing or not, we are here to tell you as certified dog trainers, that crating your puppy is not only a good thing, it is the absolute smartest & most responsible way to raise a puppy. 

  • Crates are the PERFECT management tool
  • Crates keep your puppy from destroying your house while you are gone.
  • Crates keep your dog from accidentally swallowing crazy items, urinating all over your floors and/or scattering garbage all over the living room!

In other words, crates keep puppies safe. It helps them feel safe and allows for a place to go when they get overwhelmed by us humans!


The best way to go about starting crate training is getting your puppy to LOVE the crate before leaving them in it alone, if applicable.

  1. Build up interest and make it fun for your puppy:

 Start by hiding long-lasting chews like a Cheek Roll or Himalayan Dog Chew in the crate so that when your dog walks up to the crate they see it in there. (Do not let your dog see you put the chew in the crate, it should be a surprise) -  

2) Reinforce it when it’s happening! Do not ignore:

When your dog is in the crate chewing their Cheek Roll or any long-lasting chew, toss some high-valued treats in like cooked chicken so that you can reward the puppy for chewing and laying down calmly. 

3) Eliminate Pent-up Energy BEFORE crate training:

If your dog is bouncing off the walls and isn't too interested in laying down then you need to vigorously exercise your puppy for 15 minutes with a Flirt Pole or by playing Fetch continuously for 15 minutes. Then bring them in and try again. 

4) Give your dog the choice of going in: 

Leave your crate door open and every time you see your dog go in or look in, or go near the crate, say "yes" and toss 3-5 treats in the crate so they have to go in the crate to get the treats. Then ignore them. If they stay in, say "yes" and give a few more treats. If they come out, ignore them, they will go back in, if they do or at least sticks their head in, say "yes" and load it up!

Below are the items we recommend for crate training your puppy

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